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"The Honor Society of Scouting"

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You have been in scouting long enough to know requirements change or disappear all the time, or at the very least an exception can be made. We will just have to wait and see.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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Ok, regarding the election of Explorers (and prior 'older boy programs') into the OA. I researched this several years ago as this topic keeps poping up.


OA elections for Explorers continued until 1991. The July Operations Update of the time indicated it was dropped. Sooo, any lodge still doing elections in Posts after that time was in violation of National rules.


In reading thru my collection of OA Handbooks, this is what it said:


1948 OAHB requirements: 14 years old, First Class or first Senior Scout rank (not sure if that was Apprentice, or Ordinary/Woodsman/Observer rank).


1959, 65, 70 OAHB: any Explorer, regardless of rank.


1975 OAHB: Only male Explorer, regardless of rank. (note, Explorers went co-ed in 1971. I assume this means the OA revamped this rule at that time, but don't have any OAHB to prove it).


Also, the OA is now part of Boy Scout division (prior, National OA Committee under Nat Camping Committee). I mention this because you have people claiming the OA was 'always' part of the Boy Scout Division. Not so!


1980-87 OAHB: Explorers must hold First Class rank, only male members of Post can vote. (so, only male Explorers can get in)


1989 OAHB: Explorers must hold First Class rank, but all Explorers vote.


Hope this helps.


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"What do we refer to when we say "Scouting?" "


For me, when I say "scouting", I'm refering to the whole program/movement.


If I want to speak of a specific program within scouting (cub scouting, boy scouting, varsity scouting, sea scouting, Venturing, etc), I'll refer to that specific program.


scouting =/= boy scouting for me.


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Scouting to me means the movement as well.


I have no qualms with Cub Scouts being excluded. They've not yet developed/matured to the point of eligibility to entrance. You work from HS - College - AA - AAA ball before you finally get called up to the Majors. First Class Scout, 15 days and nights of camping is the similar gate.


What I have serious heartburn with is barring youth members who have achieved a similar level of skill development, and if anything, greater maturity, from being allowed to compete for entrance to the Order.


As I've said in the women as camp staff threads: We have young women serving our summer camps who are far more dedicating to the Aims of Scouting (indeed, the Methods) than many of the 13 year olds who will get their Brotherhood their second year and never be seen by Order again. What do we do to recognize those women? Jack Diddly. Don't throw the "But they get paid" argument at me either. We all know a young person can gross/net more per week in the summer working fulltime at Mickey D's. We do not honor their altruism. Ideals Method, anyone?


Hier Ich Stehe.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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"Must have earned the BSA rank of First Class (or higher - a redundancy that isn't neccessary)."


At one time, it was necessary. An Explorer who had earned either the Outdoor rating or Bronze Award was eligible to earn Star, Life and Eagle (ref. Explorer Manual, 1955, pg. 119).


The same could be applied to Venturing youth today as a criterion for election to OA (read Outdoor Bronze), but this is not done presumably to keep out the girls. Either that, or the BSA is interested in seeing Venturing go the way of Explorers, to wither and die and to be replaced.


Personally, I see the opportunity for the Order of the Arrow to become a uniting, strengthing force in districts and councils for developing youth leadership, whether they are in troops, crews, or ships. Sure, there would be some wailing and gnashing of teeth as the first female candidates come in, but I think that the change would ultimately be a positive one, and it would go a long way towards strengthening our older youth programs.


That's not to say that the Order should shift its focus from camping at all. I would expect candidates from ships and crews to meet the same camping requirements as the Scouts from troops, and I would expect that they would have the Outdoor Bronze at least.


Oh, and even if these changes were made, I would still disagree with calling it "Scouting's National Honor Society," as that would still convey the wrong message.(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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Lets say a girl ::horrors:: gets the Outdoor Bronze and under new rules is eligible for the OA. If she joined the Crew at 14 and it takes a year to get the Brinze and then waits for OA election time, she takes her ordeal with 12-13 year old boys.


What 15-16 year old girl will want to hang with 12-13 boys? Ok, the young lady endeavors to perservere and makes it. Now she is a member


If you let girls in the OA,in 3-4 years you will have a female national Chief, something that wouldnt bother me, but other may have an issue

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I wonder, what 15-16 yo BOY would necessarily want to hang out with the 12-13 boys under similar circumstances? For that matter, why is that even an issue under the typical conditions of the Ordeal? (Please PM if necessary.) Also, what percentage of candidates would be 12-13 yo. Scouts anyway? From my Scouting experience, your whole premise is a non-starter at best.(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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I underwent my Ordeal as a 13-year-old Scout. My Elangomat was 15 or 16, and my fellow candidates in my clan ranged in age from 12 to 60. We all had a great, unifying experience.


I agree with OGE. A 15- and 16-year-old Venturer girl isn't going to want to "hang out" with 12- and 13-year old boys. She's going to taking charge, becoming an Elangomat, getting appointed Ordeal Chairman, running for Inductions Vice-Chief and getting elected Lodge Chief.


It will certainly be interesting when the ceremonies are rewritten for gender-neutral roles ...

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Interesting but really--does it matter? How relevant is OA today? If OA disappeared right now, what would be the impact to the BSA?


Most lodges are inward-focused, patch-selling machines, and self congratulatory.


The idea of cheerful service is an afterthought.


The move to "honor society" is honest. By dropping the "camping" part, they at least reflect the fact that most lodge overnights are in the camp mess hall.


I'm proud of my OA experiences, but I've seen OA slowly decline in influence over the last three decades.

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If the OA disappeared right now, there's one major consequence that immediately comes to mind. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of man-hours of work done at council camps during ordeals and lodge/chapter service weekends wouldn't happen. Oh, and don't forget the OA High Adventure programs helping to improve Philmont, Sea Base, and Northern Tier.

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DLister, while the OA provides a valuable service to camps, I think councils could have work weekends that reach out to all scouts--a larger pool than OA. For the High Adventure places, the work crews could be formed the same way.

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